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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effects of Staff Education on Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in the Intensive Care Unit: A Literature Review

  • Author(s): Braun, Suzanne Ellen
  • et al.

Background: Mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU are at a high risk for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and the rate of this hospital-acquired infection (HAI) is problematic. Nursing interventions utilize evidence-based practice (EBP) VAP prevention guidelines to decrease the incidence. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of staff education on the reduction of VAP in the critical care setting.

Methods: Literature search was performed on two databases, CINAHL and PubMed. Search results were narrowed based on type of research article, relevance, and publication date, and eventually three studies were chosen.  

Results: In two of the studies, VAP incidence was shown to have decreased after staff education and one study had insignificant results, although there was a trend towards decreased VAP incidence. Length of stay significantly decreased post-intervention in two studies. Nurse adherence/concordance significantly increased in all studies.

Conclusions: These findings show that staff education may decrease VAP incidence in ICUs, but further research needs to be performed to confirm these findings, as well as to determine the best form of education. Nurses are the primary individuals to prevent mechanically ventilated patients from acquiring VAP, and thus the next step would be focusing on how to improve long-term nurse adherence to preventative interventions and how to implement them into bedside practice.

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